Teespring Adds 'Digital Merchandise' to Its Product Offering for Online Content Creators
It’s an interesting twist for a company that built itself on T-shirts to now deal with digital products like filters, digital planners and other social-media ready “items,” but Teespring CEO Chris Lamontagne says it's a natural evolution.
“At the core of Teespring is commerce, helping creators and fans engage in long-lasting and innovative ways,” Lamontagne told Promo Marketing. “With that, the addition of digital products on top of a robust set of physical product capabilities was actually a pretty natural way for our platform to evolve.”
It’s an appeal to Gen-Z customers, who not only have been boosting the profiles of TikTok users and YouTube influencers already, but are now spending more time at home during the pandemic. It’s a way to directly reach them, and it’s a way for content creators to market themselves without relying on physical products.
“We have seen a significant shift in how creators are selling and by 2021, we expect to see a double lift in non-apparel products on the platform,” Lamontagne said in a press release.
And here's more from the release:
Whilst in testing, Teespring has already seen a number of creators thrive in selling digital products, from photo filters sold by TikTok creator Bonnie RZM to digital planners created by YouTube sensation Simon's Cat. The feature will be available to all creators on Teespring’s platform.
TikTok creator Bonnie RZM, who has 2 million followers on the platform, is a prime example of the success creators can achieve through this latest Teespring offering. To date, Bonnie has made thousands of dollars selling photo filters via the function to her followers, designed and created to offer them a new way to engage with her content. She has amassed millions of followers on TikTok and Instagram via unique advice, offering fans tips on how to show off their best self(ie)—how to pose, the best locations, fashion and style tips and numerous ideas on how to capture the perfect shots for their own channels. Digital Products gave her a way to share her tips with her fans in a completely new way.
When the company announced its partnership with TikTok, it hinted at products like skateboards being on the horizon, but never mentioned this digital shift.
To call it a “shift” might be a bit inaccurate, actually. It’s more of a complement, as Lamontagne also told The Verge that these products were always meant to work hand-in-hand with the physical products, namely apparel.
“The future isn’t just physical or digital—it’s gonna be digital and physical,” he said. “We’re already seeing people who are doing bundles where it’s like, ‘Hey, buy my shirt, download my filter.’”
It’s sort of like the music bundles where a T-shirt purchase comes with a download code for an album, or how Disney was incorporating real-world souvenirs into video games and TV shows. The world right now definitely feels digital-first, but there’s absolutely room to work in a physical product.